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' "^DiXni^e Feinstein Elementary School 


“Your Wall is Our Canvas: ^ 
The Angel Island Project" 

t)et Soi String Qi^rtet & Huang Ruo, composer 
Andi Wong, Teadairig Artist 

Dianne Feinstein Elementary School 
Fourth Grade Class of 2020 


Your Wall is Our Canvas: 

The Angel Island Project 

Def So[ String Qi^^rtet & Huang Ruo, composer 
Ancii Wong, Teacking Artist 

“Your Wall is Our Canvas: The Angel Island Project” is supported in part by the Hewlett Foundations 50 
Arts Commissions, the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation and the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation. 

Del Sol String Quartet’s partnership with Dianne Feinstein ES, was made possible thanks to an Artists and 
Communities Partnership - Creative Youth Arts (ACIP-CY) grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission. 

Between 1910 and 1940, as new immigrants flowed through the immigration station on Angel Island inside the San Francisco Bay, Chinese 
immigrants faced massive discrimination because of one of America’s earliest racist immigration legislation - the Chinese Exclusion 
Act. Being held for sometimes up to years in brutal conditions at the detention center, many of these immigrations looked for solace by 
inscribing poetry onto the walls of the center. 

Del Sol String Quartet & Huang Ruo 

Your Wall is Our Canvas:The Angel Island Project 

Your Walt is Our Canvas: The Angel Island Project wiW bring these poems to fife in the very space they were created. 

Composed by Huang Ruo, the 45'minute oratorio for string quartet and chamber choir will weave a story of immigration and discrimination 
of then and now. Premiere performances will occur on Angel Island and will includeTED-style talks with prominent experts in immigration 
law, civil rights, and Chinese-American cultural history. 

We are pleased to partner with the students, families and teachers at Pianne Feinstein Elementary School to create this new musical work. 

ferry ride from tiburon Angel Island as they begin work on 
Your Wofi a OurConva^' The Angel hhndProject .. 

Hua ng Ruo and Charlton Lee see the poems carved into the 
walls of the barrack walls of the Angel Island Immigration 
Station. Over 200 poems and hundreds other inscriptions 
found on the detention barracks walls have long been a 
centerpiece of the immigration Station’s rebirth as a National 
Historic Landmark. 

In the barracks on Angel Island, Gharlton pliys his viola. . 

In igyOtthe Angel Island Immigmtlon Station was slated for 
demolition because of Its deteriorated condition; but the 
discoveryof Chinese poetry that had been carved Into the 
walls saved the detention barracks from destruction. 


Dianne Feinstein Elementary School' f 

The Parkside School at'25th Avenue and Vicente opened to students in 1922 and served the community as their elementary school until 
1975 when the building \vas closed because it was deemed seismicaliy unsafe. Voters approved a new school bond in 1997 that included $ii 
million for the rebuilding of a school at the Parkside site. Seven years afterthe initial funding was approved, the old school was demolished ^ 
and construction began on the new Dianne Feinstein Elementary School at the Parkside Campus. [ ■ 

The school was renanied in 2000 to recognize the contributions United States Senator Feinstein, who previously served for eight years 
as a member of the Board of Supervisors, and io years asthe City’s Mayor. She has participated in the enrichment of the school through jC 

generous donations to the school to support the library, technology, social-emotional learning, and much more. The Parkside location was j 
included in the school's name to honor the two previous Parkside schools so important to the development of the part of the Sunset District 
that the school is in.The school's original redwood sign has been lovingly restored and is displayed on the second fl oor corridor. Building the 
$21 million school required overcoming many challenges, including changes in leadership, identifying additional funding sources, creating 
an off-site plan for citywide teacher housing, and resolving lawsuits and a preservation landmark proposal. Throughput the years, everyone 
found a way to work tog*ether—^various school and government entities, the teaching professionals, and the Parkside community— to make 
our beautiful school a realily. Opening day for the newstudents was August 28,2006. with founding Principal Michelle Chang, Interim 
Superintendent Gwen Chan, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and other school and city officials in attendance, 

—excerpted from SFUSD Stories of Our Schools (2018) 

"I look forward to the day when the descendants 
of the one million immigrants who came through 
Angel Island, including approximately 775,000 
Chinese-Americans, can revisit the spot where 
their ancestors made such great sacrifices for 
them. There are few more intimate and personal 
reminders of our history as immigrants than 
the poems carved on the walls of the Detention 
Barracks by those who awaited word on whether 
they would be admitted into this country." 

— Senator Dianne Feinstein ,April2005 

Dianne Feinstein Elementary School Fourth Grade Class oe 2020 

9 Poems for Your Wall is Our Canvas: The Angel Island Project 

Del Sol String Quartet - Charlton Lee, Kathryn Bates, Ben Kreith andSam Weiser 
Huang Ruo, composer 
Andi Wong, teaching Artist 

Collaborative studcEit poems by HarringlorT, Ms. McCulIoiJgh and Rondone's 4th Grade Classes of 2020 at Di¬ 

anne Feinstein Elementary School, San Francisco. 

The Better Angeh of Our Nature: Visual art project: OFES Art teacher Sharon Collins and teaching artist Andl Wong, 
recording featuring The Del Sol String Quartet, musk selection by Huang ftuo* 

The Sound of Home recordings, poetry readings and photographs by Aanya, Abigail, Addison, Evan, Fable, Katelyn, Kayla, 
Leah, Marlon and Andi Wong. ioofrSk Lorn Sic (Green Cohr, Blue Color), poem Si reading by Flo Oy Wong. Father's 
Wish, story by Leah, 

Event Photography: Mara Grimes,Sandra Halladey, Chae Reed, Andi Wong, Megan Wong 
Book design St production: Andi Wong 

Special thanks to Dr. Salwa 2aki, Roty McMahon, Angela Rosoff, Darryl Knudsen, Cynthia Inaba, Chae Reed, Carol Fuerth, 
Ste ph a n ie Mates. M ica e la MacFa rla ne, Ma reus Sh e Iby, Col in Lupe r, C h e ry I Ba ] I, C. K, rta m u ra, F lo Oy Wong, Ma ra G rt m es, 
Megan Wong, Patrick Wu, Todd Fong, Michelle Chang and Gwen Chan, 


The Dianne Feinstein ES fourth grade classrooms opened the door to The Angel 
Island Project on January i6, when Ms. Harrington, Ms. McCullough and Ms. 
Rondone’s fourth graders were introduced to Angel Island history in a poetry 
workshop led by teaching artist Andi Wong. 

The classroom poetry workshop began with an artifact found in her 
grandfather’s suitcase, which was used during his travels between China to the 
United States. As the object was passed from hand to hand around the room, 
the students were invited to guess what the mysterious object might be, and 
why would someone might pack this item for an ocean crossing? The student’s 
keen sense of smell offered an important clue, and the students agreed that 
this object smelled a lot tike cinnamon! 

Cinnamon (from far awayTolshan) 

Ancestors (uprooted) 

Scent (wafts from the battered brown) 

Suitcase, (whispers from the) 

Island (of Immortals to) 

Angels (hereon Earth) 

— Collaborative acrostic poem by Ms. McCullough’s 4th Graders, 

(with grace notes by Andi) 

The fourth graders began by creating acrostic poems inspired by their names 
and nature, using words to capture and express their impressionsof self and 
the natural world.These student poems served as inspiration for a classroom 
collaborative art project, 9 Poems for"Your Wall is Our Canvas:The Angel 
Island Project" by Dianne Feinstein Elementary School’s Fourth Grade Class of 
2020, featuring The Del Sol String Quartet, music selection by Huang Ruo. 



X_>yravery loves laugkter, dive into 
your keart and dreams caked witk blue 
Bumping over tbe rough waves 
You will jind your inner self 
Loved tike tbe Ocean. 

photo by LEAH 

'Y, ^ ^ The diverse community — 

J like being in a school where everyone is 
unique and has different perspectives. 

. The potiutks have foods from Thailand, 
China, the PhHHpines, Indonesian, Russian, 
JVlexico, West Africa, Nigerian, Venezuela, 
^..Canada, Ireland, and all over the USA." 

''Since we can't go to school, I really miss 
it tmiss DFES, my friends, my teachers, and 
^everything from DFES. I grew up there and 
can't believe I used to be in Kindergarten. 
DFES is important to me because of 
everything I have learned there.'' 


omeone can be whatever they want, 
obsessed with Legos & Marvel, 
ice cream, anime, soccer, 
origami & Art, eating Skittles. 
Happy life. 

;Ph^f3 by ABIpAlt 

Photo by KATELVN 

Atlowed to be 

a fox in a world of mystery. 
Marvelous supreme Angel, 
rarest of tkem all, 
Never give up. 

Bright adventurers, rich mind 
eager to get home. A long distance away 
tidy circle and shape. 

Almost there. 

PKoto by LEAH 






y W anciering tke world, 
Always hyyour side, 
Keepingwatck c^Iife. 

Natures love inside us all. 

A Galaxy is waking to the power (^Justice 

/ eUow, Blue, 

Colors will always be witkyou. 
Tke red leaves in Fall, ever so green 
in Spring. Every branck is connected. 
Eartk always looksJurward 









Ph6to by LEAH 

p^?^r. ^awfaj^Mi. ^■cjiPtjf—iBgiy-/^ m" m |k 


''•‘1 mm 

fe ft 




ke One. 

Very cor^clent, even tkough sky 
anonymous, energetic. An amazing gymnast 
jumping tojoiiow ftreams. Engrossed in a 
kook, making ideas up. Nice, nevernaugkty. 

Always by your side. 

iK~- Ir. J 







Photo by ABIGAIL 

mcere as a 

artistic as a hummingbird; 

true as an emotion 

Like a tree in the changing seasons 
We are changing the World. 



3i * 

, 1 

..^ jtr 

«■''■- ;. y4 

^hoto by KAYLA 


f ^^joSW 





Photo by KATEIYN 

* r|> 





lorn sic 
[ook sic 
lorn sic 

see gkee leong 

green color 
blue color 
green color 
blue color 
trees bow beautiful 

Flo Oy Wong, July n, 2020 

green blue 

LOOK SIC LOM SIC by artist/poet Flo Oy Wong is a poem 
written and recited in her ancestral dialect of Hoisan-wa for 
the Del Sol String Quartet’s "Your Wall isOurCanvas:The 
Angel Island Project” at Dianne Feinstein Elementary School, 

The Hoisan-wa dialect, which originated in Taishan County 
in Guangdong province in Southern China, was spoken by 
many of the Chinese immigrants who came to America in 
the first part of the twentieth century, including Flo’s parents 
and siblings, who were among those held in the Imm igration 
Station barracks on Angel Island. 

Flo's poem, written during the COVID-ig pandemic was 
inspired by this photograph, taken on Jufyto, 2020 during her 
daily walk. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Flo and her friends 
practiced "social connection” by participating in artist Iman 
Tajik's project Slow Marathon 2020: Under One Sky , a mass 
worldwide border-free walking project. 

Flo Oy Wong, artist, poet, and educator, is a first generation 
Chinese American born and raised in Oakland Chinatown. Her 
work as a visual artist and poet explore issues of social Justice. 
She focuses on family, community, and history of Chinese in 
America through her immigrant parents, bringing to light the 
lives of the invisible, unrecognized, and underrepresented. 


On a very (lumtd nigkt, araund niLclnfgkt, a man at the age thirty-etght 
(aid his sich and weary body down to rest. This man ts named Jose. He wid 
be up again at 4am, his usical wahe-up time. 

That night, he had a dream. In his dream, he had an unexpected visitJrom 
a loved one who died when Jose was stiK a young hoy. It was an unfofgcttable 

In the drtram he heard ajamiliarvoice. "Son, 1 w'antyou to leav^e the 
Phif ippincs and go to America. Sell your business and go.’^ The voice 
belonged to hisjathen Ve Kui. The fast time he heard this voice was ivhen he 
was twelve. 

His mother recently immigrated to San Francisco^ Calijomia. This should be 
a good place to start, thought Jose* Unexpectedly ajew weeks (atenjose, his 
pregnant wife, and his 5-year old son their small home, relatives, and 1^ 

stmggic in the Philippines to the Uviited States 0/America. 

"When they arrived in the strange countjy, Jose and his family were granted 
a tourist visa. They were only at towed to stay there Jo r thirty days* They 
were anxious about Ije* They were Jr cozing because they were used to hot 
and humid weather and San Francisco was not at all close to the hot, tropical 
weather of the Philippines. Atjirst, the Jamily of three didn’t know how to 
speak English well The best they could speak were some common words like 
yes, no, hello, goodbye, and a Jew soda names. Their relatives let them stay in 
a room in their home, but it was only one small room/or thejamily. 

A close cousin accompaniedjose to Los Angeles* There,Jose talked with a 
lawyer that advised him to changejrom a tourist visa to a student visa- This 
meant thatjose had to go back to school. So, he applied to a local university 
and got in. 

Two months later their daughter was bom in Chinatown. Nowthe/amily 
was complete. 

when Jose was almost done with his hvo year master’s program, immigration 
laws changed. Students who earned their degrees could not stay and work 
in the coxmtfy. He knew that he would not be/ulflling hisjathers wish. He 
had tojigure out another strategy to stay. 

Then, the lawyer suggested Jose to get a business visa. He borrowed money 
Jrom a relative to buy a business in Chinatown* He attended classes every 
morning, and took care ^his business until t 1:00pm. He went to bed 
sometime ajier midnight. 

Againjose learned he wasn’t able to applyJor immigration to America 
for some time. A cousin suggested he applyjor immigration to Canada. 

Jose submitted his application. His application got lost in the mail. Jose 
submitted his application again. One year and two months i^cr he 
submitted his Jirst application, he was granted an interview. They were 

They had lots stres^l things to worry about and Jigure out as problems 
came up one after another. Their daughter was too young to go to school 
and no one could stay home to look after hen Both Jose and his wife needed 
to work. They didn't have any relatives to help them in Canada* They didn’t 
(lave much money. And he needed to sell his business in San Francisco 
quickly in order to move to Canada* 

They decided to leave their daughter with her grandmother and other 
relatives. Almost Jive years later, thetr daughterJIcw to Canada and the 
Jamily was reunited. Joses dream and hisjather’s wish wasji nally reached* 

A better 1 JeJbr him and his Jamily No more worries about money, health 
and the future. 

This is the story my grandfather Vm so gratijul that my grandfather and 
grandmother persisted and worked hard to pursue their dreams, if it wasn't 
Jor them, 1 wouldn’t have a home, or tlie hind of life ! have now. 



Finding Common Ground 

Thefourth grade students working with art 
teacher Sharon Collins learned how artists 
from all parts ofthe world are inspired by 
nature. Students explored symmetry, balance 
and pattern by creating their own Native 
American symbols and Lunar New Year scrolls. 

The Better Angels of Our Nature, a mirror was created from words and phrases set in “stone"—stamped into earthen clay, using 
flowers and leaves gathered from plants and trees on the playground, and solar dyes to paint with sunlight. The visual art piece was created to 
inspire self-reflection and hopes for a future where Nature and Humanity are in harmony.joined together as one in a time of great uncertain-^. 


The poetry written by fourth graders in the January i6 workshop at the start 
of 2020, took on a whole new meaning by March 13th, when the COVID-19 
pandemic closed 8ay Area schools, ultimately for the remainder of the 2019- 
2020 school year. 

Nine collaborative poems from the 4th grade were submitted and selected 
for the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation's first virtual exhibition. 
Voices of Resilience celebrates the 50th anniversary of the re discovery of over 
200 Chinese poems carved into the walls of the detention barracks at the U.S. 
Immigration Station at Angel Island. The rediscovery triggered a set of efforts 
to preserve the building, ultimately resulting in the designation of the site as a 
U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1997. 

The exhibition features a total of 55 poems including 22 historical poems and 
33 contemporary poems selected from online submissions from the general 
public. In addition to the fourth grade DFES student work,the contemporary 
poems included contributions from former Angel Island detainees, their 
descendants, including The Last Hoisan Poets-Island author Genny Lim, Nellie 
Wong and Flo Oy Wong-and an anthology by the Sato/Bukowski/ Haechler 
Family. The online exhibition ran from May 1 through through June 30,2020, 
where the poems remain on the walls of the AlISF's website archives — Voices 
of Resilience to be discovered by future visitors. 

"At a time when there are significantly increased reports of anti-Asian 
harassment and assaults related to theCOViD-19 pandemic, it felt important 
to AlISF’s Board and Staff to continue to ensure that the histories and stories 
related to the immigrant detention at Angel Island are not forgotten. Our hope 
is that Voices of Resilience serves a reminder of the empathy, connection, and 
resiliency that is important especially in times tike this." stated AIISF Executive 
Director Edward Tepporn. 

Fifty YEARS ago, in 1970 , Park Ranger 
Alexander Weiss found the long- 


This discovery led tothe Angel Island 
Immigration Station's rebirth as a 
National Historic Landmark. 

Perhaps fifty years from now, a future reader 
will discover the nine poems written by the 
Dianne Feinstein Elementary School fourth grade 
class of 2020 in the archives of the Angel Island 
Immigration Station Museum? 

htt ps;/ / w w w.a i i sf .o rg/ vo r- col I a borat i ve ■ poet ry 


It is planned that the Del Sol String Quartet & Huang Ruo’s "VbMr Wall is Our 
Canvas: The Angel Island Project" w\\l premiere on Angel Island. The new Angel 
Island Immigration Museum, the former Public Health Service hospital, will open 
in the future, allowing visitors to apply history’s lessons to nurture civil society 
and protect civil rights. 

Through their art, the young artists at DFESare using sound and images to 
communicate their ideas and emotions and inspire action and movement 
towards a more just society. 

Students at DFE 5 marked the 25th anniversary Martin Luther King Jr, holiday by 
kicking off the fifth annual Blake Mini Library Book Drive, with support from Mr. 
Cid and the DFES student council to benefit homeless children in San Francisco. 
Students gathered at lunch time to process books donations by writing special 
notes of encouragement for future readers. The 2020 Blake Mini Library Breaking 
Barrier's coliection was created based on community donations and student 
reading recommendations. 

Lunchtime origami workshops were also held to teach children how to fold tsuru, 
paper cranes symbolizing peace, compassion, hope and healing. In the traditional 
Japanese folk art of paper folding (origami), the crane is a popular, easy-to-learn 
figure that children and adults of all abilities can create. At lunchtime, working 
together until our last day of gathering on the schoolyard,the children folded 
hundreds of cranes of all sizes and colors, in response to a call to action by Tsuru 
for Solidarity. All can contribute to the project which aims to fold 525,000 cranes, 
equalling the number of immigrants incarcerated annually. 

A community gesture to show that immigrant children, youths, families and other 
detainees seeking safety in our country will not be forgotten. 

"Everybody can be great ... because 


have a college degreeto serve.You 
don’t HAVE to make your SUBJECT AND 

— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 
FROM The Drum Major Instinct, (1968) 

It's amazing what can be accomplished when kids work 
together. This year's book drive team collected, processed 
and donated over Boo books for the families at the 
Hamilton Family shelter in the Tenderloin. 



November 18,2019,5:30pm-7;00pm 

At the first DFES Family Art Night, teaching artist Andi Wong introduced the 
Dianne Feinstein school community to Your Walt is Our Canvas: The Angel Island 
Project and the members,of the Del Sol String tJUartet. We got to know each other 
better with a traveling warm-up activity with C Song by Terry Riiey. Families were 
invited to freeiy travel around the MPR with a series of prompts cued by Del Sol, 
saying hello with smiles, nods, shoe touches and secret handshakes. Children 
interviewed their parents, who shared family stories as participants learned how 
to conduct an oral history interview. As Del Sol performed Tenebrae by Osvaldo 
Golijov.the children were invited to collaborate to create an evening sky mural. 
Golijov’s composition finds hope and wonder in a world upended by war, when he 
visits the New York City planetarium with his five-year-old son, who sees the earth 
forthe very first time — a "pale blue dot" in the vast cosmos. 

watching me wme tiarh $ea. 

Loving Goef. 
Blacfe as NigKt, 
Bright as Light, she stancts. 

A POFTIC memory shared BY 
THE J-H family 

thejamily song. 

We speak out * 
Spanish, language. 

We visit ourjamity 
in El Salvador and Cali, 


The P-B Family 


January 27,2020,5:30PM-7r00PM 

The second DFES Family Art Night with The Del Sol String Quartet explored 
the importance of storytelling, through music and the written word through 
the art of bookmaking. The Del Sol String Quartet wove a musical thread 
though the evening, opening and dosing the evening with composer Huang 
Ruo’s string quartet No. 3 , Calligraffitti. Andi Wong demonstrated how music 
can tell a story, leading families through an imaginary musical Journey. And) 
introduced the art of author/illustrator Ezra Jack Keats, whose 1958 book, 

The Chinese knew ( 1958 ) introduces many useful items or processes invented 
by the Chinese thousands of years ago, including the woodblock printing, 
which led to the printing of books, one of the most important technologicai 
innovations in regards to children’s learning today. Keat's 1962 classic, The 
Snowy Day changed the face of children’s books with his story of Peter, an 
African American boy who explores his own neighborhood. We made our own 
books to take home, learning the Chinese stab-binding technique with Cheryl 
Ball and C.K. Itamura of Book Arts Roadshow. 


Dianne Feinstein Elementary School 
Fourth Grade Class of 2020 


Your Wall is Our Canvas: 
The Angel Island Project" 

Del Sol String Quartet 
Huang Ruo, composer 
Andi Wong,Teaching Artist 

*^>bur Wa(I is Q^^Canv4is:Ttte,Aftgel Isiafid 
is supported in part hy l-i^e Hewtrti 

Arts Cojnmissions. tke Cliurrice £. Heller Charitable 
Foundation and the Phyllis C Wattis foundatton- Del Sol 
Siring Quarters partnership with Dianne Femstem ES^ 
was made possibl e (hanks to an A rtists and Gomm,un ities 5 
l^nership Glaive Youth A^(AGiP-CV|gmiitJ^^ ^ 
theSan Francisco Arts Conim issio “ .